What is the Google Voice app for calls?

Google Voice is a telecommunications service offered by Google that provides a telephone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. Some of the key features of Google Voice include:

Google Voice was first launched in 2009 as a calling service that aimed to centralize voicemail, text messaging, and calling for users. Since then, it has expanded into an app that provides useful communication features like call screening, voicemail transcriptions, and more.

With Google Voice, users get a free phone number that can be used for calling and texting. This Google Voice number works as a “virtual phone number” that rings all your linked devices when someone calls. Calls to your Google Voice number can ring your mobile phone, landline, and VoIP lines associated with it (Detailed Google Voice Instructions).

Some of the key features and capabilities offered by Google Voice include: call screening, voicemail transcription, text messaging, multi-device ringing, online management and call routing. Users can access it via mobile apps on iOS and Android, or through the Google Voice website.

Making and Receiving Calls

One of the core features of Google Voice is the ability to make and receive phone calls through the service. To make a call using Google Voice, you can use the mobile app or website and dial the number you wish to call just like on a regular phone. The call will connect using your Google Voice number rather than your mobile number.

To receive calls, you simply give out your Google Voice number to contacts. Incoming calls to your Google Voice number can ring on all your linked devices and numbers simultaneously. You can configure where and how incoming calls ring in the app’s settings. For example, you can set calls to only ring on your mobile phone during certain hours.

Call quality when using Google Voice can vary and may not always match the quality of your regular mobile network. Factors like internet connection strength can impact call quality. According to some users, Google Voice calls may sound more compressed or have more latency issues than regular calls (source). If you experience poor call quality, you can try troubleshooting steps like switching networks, rebooting your device, or adjusting audio settings.


One of the key features of Google Voice is its voicemail system. When someone calls your Google Voice number and you can’t answer, they’ll be directed to your Google Voice voicemail.

Google Voice will transcribe voicemail messages automatically and send you an email with the recording and transcription. This makes it easy to read your voicemails instead of having to listen to each one (source: https://support.google.com/voice/answer/165656?hl=en). The transcription isn’t always perfect, but it’s a helpful feature.

You can access your Google Voice voicemails in a few different ways:

  • Through the Google Voice mobile app
  • By calling your Google Voice number and accessing voicemail
  • In the Google Voice section of your Gmail account

Google Voice gives you options for customizing your voicemail greeting. You can record a personalized greeting via the mobile app (source: https://support.google.com/voice/answer/115069?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid). There are also options to set an automated greeting that announces your name.

Overall, Google Voice provides a robust voicemail system with handy features like transcription and multiple access points across devices and platforms.

Text Messaging

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to send and receive text messages. Google Voice is integrated with the Android Messages app, allowing you to text right from your Android device using your Google Voice number. According to Google support (https://support.google.com/messages/answer/6080324?hl=en), Messages by Google works seamlessly with Google Voice so you can text with your Google Voice number on your Android device or iPhone.

With the Android Messages app, you can send and receive SMS, MMS, and RCS chats using your Google Voice number rather than your mobile number. This allows you to keep your mobile number private if desired. The Messages app will sync across all your devices connected to your Google Voice number.

Overall, the integration between Google Voice and Android Messages provides a full text messaging experience on your smartphone using your Google Voice number. You can stay connected with text messaging capabilities without needing to give out your personal mobile number.

Call Screening

One of the most useful features of Google Voice is call screening, which allows you to screen incoming calls before deciding whether to answer them. When enabled, Google Assistant will answer each incoming call and ask the caller to state their name and reason for calling.

You can see a real-time transcript of the caller’s response on your phone’s screen and decide whether to pick up or decline the call. This can help block unwanted spam calls or robocalls. According to Google’s support site, “Once the caller responds, you can choose a pre-made reason from a list to end the call, or pick up if you want to talk to them.” [1]

Call screening works on both Android and iOS devices. On Android, open the Google Voice app, go to Settings > Calls and toggle on “Screen Calls.” On an iPhone, go to Phone app Settings > Call Screening and turn it on. You can also fully customize your call screening greetings and pre-set rejection messages if desired.

Overall, call screening gives you more control over unwanted calls and helps minimize disruptions. It’s an essential feature that makes Google Voice more useful as a phone system.

Integration with Gmail

One of the key features of Google Voice is its integration with Gmail, allowing you to see transcripts and listen to voicemails directly in your Gmail inbox. According to a Google blog post, Google Voice is now fully integrated into Gmail on desktop, so you can make and receive calls without switching tabs or windows.

When you get a new voicemail on Google Voice, you’ll see it appear in your Gmail inbox like any other message. You can play back the voicemail audio directly within Gmail. Additionally, Google Voice will provide a transcript of the voicemail, generated automatically using speech recognition. This makes it easy to skim and search voicemails without having to listen to the full audio recording.

Overall, the deep Gmail integration makes Google Voice much more convenient to use for viewing voicemails and transcripts. You no longer have to visit a separate website or app just to access your Google Voice voicemail.

Multiple Numbers

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to have multiple phone numbers ring through one account. When you first sign up for Google Voice, you are given one phone number. However, you can add additional phone numbers to your account.

To add another number, click the “+ New linked number” button in your Google Voice account settings. You will be prompted to enter the phone number you want to link. This allows you to have separate numbers for business and personal use while managing everything through one Google Voice account.

Google Voice supports linking multiple real phone numbers to your account. However, there are some limitations. According to Google’s support article, you can only have one Google Voice number per account. If you want additional Google Voice numbers, you will need to open separate accounts.[1]

With multiple numbers, you have full control over how incoming calls are handled. You can set specific numbers to ring certain devices or go directly to voicemail. This makes Google Voice a versatile tool for managing all of your calling needs.

International Calling

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to make international calls from the United States to other countries around the world. Google Voice provides competitive rates for international calling that are often lower than traditional phone carriers.

According to Google’s calling rates page (https://voice.google.com/rates), international calls from the US to landline and mobile numbers in many countries cost just $0.01 per minute. This includes popular destinations like Canada, Mexico, China, India and Western Europe.

Calling rates to other regions like South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East are around $0.02 per minute. Higher cost destinations like Cuba and satellite phones range from $0.35 to $3.00 per minute.

Overall, Google Voice provides an affordable way for users in the US to stay connected with friends and family abroad. The low per-minute rates for international calling make it very budget-friendly compared to traditional long distance calling.

Apps and Devices

Google Voice is compatible with both mobile and desktop apps, allowing you to make calls from your phone, tablet, or computer. On mobile, the Google Voice app is available for Android and iOS devices. It can be installed on smartphones and tablets running the two latest versions of either operating system.

For desktop, you can make Google Voice calls through the Google Voice website in any modern web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge. There are also standalone apps like Google Hangouts or the Chrome extension that provide Google Voice integration.

Google Voice is compatible with most modern smartphones like iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, and Motorola devices. It also works with basic phones and some landlines using an ObiHai adapter. However, certain features may be limited on older or unsupported devices according to Google’s system requirements.

Overall, Google Voice offers broad compatibility across platforms while providing the full call management experience on supported mobile and desktop apps.


Google Voice provides a variety of useful features and benefits to help people manage calls, text messages, and voicemail. Key highlights include:

  • Get a free phone number to make affordable calls in the U.S. and Canada
  • Screen calls with the option to accept, decline, block, or have an automated greeting
  • Transcribe voicemail messages into text and easily read or share them
  • Send and receive text messages from your Google Voice number
  • Record calls for reference or sharing
  • Seamlessly integrate Google Voice with Gmail and other Google services
  • Improve productivity by managing multiple numbers from one account

With its call and message management capabilities, integration with Google products, and feature-rich apps, Google Voice provides robust communication tools for personal and business use. It enables efficient connection and coordination across devices and mediums.

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